How To Take… Kids Portraits

I’m not a great proponent of formal portrait for adults, let alone kids. They rarely sit still and pose how you’d like, and I find the pictures usually end up looking stilted and a bit false. I admire photographers who can get good results from the studio, but I prefer a more candid approach.

Here are a selection of pictures I’ve taken of friends’ kiddies.

[Alexander in front of a window, natural light. His mum was behind me]

[Lizzie getting very sticky when we were out having a cake. The table was in a covered courtyard with a great skylight above]

[Alexander gets a push from Dad. Overcast day, so I got rid of as much sky as possible from the composition. At the playground can be a great place for action shots.]

[Conor & Meghan posing in an old wing chair. Natural daylight from a patio door, and a tight crop to get rid of any background intrusions]

[William – was playing with his mum’s hat, as we were about to go out. A bit of fill-in flash gave catchlights in the eyes, without being too harsh on his face]

It’s best to get the children in question doing something – perhaps playing with their toys or dressing up. Or, if you’re lucky, “caught in the act” of getting sticky, etc.

Of course, if the children aren’t yours, you should always get their parents’ permission before taking their picture.

How To Take… A Photo Essay

A Photo Essay is a set of pictures which tells a story. It need not be about anything profound, but the images must tell the story with little textual explanation. As you can see, each individual image is no masterpiece, but taken together they form a coherent set which fit together well.

For a bit of fun, I decided to photograph the story of my lunch a while ago. I used my Canon IXUS 850 IS, rather than waving my expensive camera over a frying pan. Here’s what I came up with:

[1. Fresh Rashers – straight out of the pack]

[2. Into The Frying Pan… – a non-stick pan is essentail!]

[3. Sizzling Rashers – are browning nicely]

[4. Lashings Of Sauce – a good dollop of ketchup on the bacon is a must]

[5. The Perfect Bacon Sarnie – crispy bacon, malted brown bread, oozing with ketchup. Lovely!]

[6. Ketchup & Crumbs – is all that’s left!]

Why not choose a subject and have a go at a photo essay about it? You might be surprised what you come up with!

Out And About Again

After five weeks of frustration, hobbling and a sore elbow, I’m finally able to get about a bit better now, and spent a lovely morning wandering round Galleywood Common, close to where I live.

The autumn colours were in full force [left, Autumn Oak leaf] and the sun was out, with a blue sky all round. It was a bit cool, but I didn’t mind.

And despite living close by for 4+ years, I’d never set foot in Galleywood Churchyard (it’s set back off the road and up a track to nowhere else, so you have to want to visit!). I spent a happy half hour wandering round finding pictures, as the leaves were turning orange and the sun was backlighting them in a lovely way.

[Rest In Peace – the sun streams through the leaves and provides a vibrant backdrop to the gravestones]

[Divine Light – I loved the way the rays were caught on camera]

Although I was out and about, I only had my Canon Ixus 850 IS with me, but I’m very pleased with the results I managed to get from the camera. You can see some more shots in the General Colour – 11 Gallery on my photo website.